Samsung’s 2023 TV lineup has more gaming features than than before.

Game Bar 3.0 is a significant gaming enhancement for Samsung TVs.

Because to its built-in Game Hub software, which interacts with just about every game streaming service under the sun, Samsung already manufactures some of the greatest TVs for gaming. This year, they’ll be even better for gaming because Samsung has integrated several features from its gaming monitors to its television, such as virtual aim point and minimap zoom.

We took an extended look at Samsung’s three flagship TVs earlier this month, including its top Neo QLED 4K and 8K options, as well as the newest QD OLED TV, to put the company’s gaming features to the test.

To begin, when you start playing a game, Samsung’s best TVs will automatically transition to gaming mode to assist reduce latency and display the new GameBar 3.0 interface. This small overlay appears at the bottom of the screen to provide rapid access to the game picture mode presets, activating the minimap zoom, virtual aim point, sound output, and anything else you could need while gaming.

The most intriguing and contentious feature of Samsung’s latest TVs is Game Motion mode. It’s essentially motion smoothing, also known as “the soap opera effect” in games. With this function enabled, you receive an even smoother frame rate while playing games, but it’s purely artificial rather than a higher frame rate directly from a console or gaming Computer.

Generally, motion smoothing is regarded as negative and should be turned off when watching conventional media, but for games, it feels a little more acceptable because you want the highest frame rate. Game Motion, like motion smoothing for movies and shows, smooths out animations, making them appear more fluid and sharp. Surprisingly, you can also utilise this Game Motion mode to increase the frame rate of games played in resolution mode on the Xbox Series X and PS5. This effectively provides you with the best of both worlds, with improved detail and a frame rate of more than 30 frames per second.

Nevertheless, Game Motion’s ostensibly high frame rate isn’t flawless. For example, while playing Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the Game Motion frame rate would drastically increase or decrease. In addition, I would not use Game Motion mode to increase the frame rate in fighting games. Because Game Motion artificially smooths out frames and animation, it is more difficult to correctly time button pushes in fighting games, particularly those that need frame-accurate timing for combinations, such as Mortal Kombat 11. Finally, in order to use Game Motion mode on the PS5, I had to go into the video settings and disable Variable Refresh Rate support.

Another new feature is minimap zoom, which is the most unusual gaming tool I’ve seen on television yet. When engaged, the TV enters a split-screen mode, with the majority of the display still showing the game you’re playing and a section of the left showing a blown-up version of the minimap.

By putting and sizing a yellow box overlay over the minimap in whichever game you’re playing, you may use the remote to modify whatever section of the screen is being magnified on the left. It’s beneficial in multiplayer shooters like Battlefield 2042 and Halo Infinite, where you’re sometimes only monitoring the minimap for opponent locations, but it’s not perfect because the larger minimap looks very pixelated.

The virtual aim point is a much simpler feature, especially if you’ve ever marked the centre of your gaming monitor with a light or a piece of tape. This feature places a virtual pointer in the exact centre of the screen, giving you an aiming reticle at all times. It’s ideal for shooters and adventure games, and you can change the colours and designs of the reticles.

There’s also the aforementioned Game Hub menu, which provides quick access to game streaming services directly on the TV. Simply connect a Bluetooth controller to the TV to stream games from Microsoft Cloud Gaming, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Amazon Luna.

Aside from the additional gaming features, all of Samsung’s newest Televisions significantly improve picture quality using AI and image processing. First and foremost, there is a new Auto HDR Remastering tool that analyses and applies real-time high dynamic range effects to standard dynamic range (SDR) footage using AI deep learning technology. This effectively makes any SDR content brighter and more lively, which is ideal for games that aren’t mastered in HDR, such as Nintendo Switch titles.